Daughter attached to dad - help!(18 Posts)
I would be so greatful if anyone could give me some advice/reassurance please.
DD is 20 months old and is extremely attached to her dad, my DH. It started a few months ago, mildly at first but has gradually intensified to the point of where she pushes me away and cries if I pick her up (if DH is around). I work p/t 3 days a wk and look after her two days. She goes to nursery 2 days and my mums 1 day. Daddy drops her off and picks her up from nursery most days.
On the days I look after her, she wails when dad leaves and stands at the door crying. It takes her a good 30 mins to calm down but then she points to photos of him throughout the day and will occasionally stand at the door waiting for him. As soon as he comes home then I'm pretty much ignored and can't do anything for her - she wants daddy to do it all. At weekends and on evenings, even when she she hasn't seen me for a while its the same. The worst part is that if she's really teething or needs comforting - she wants dad. People told me 'Oh she'll turn to you when she really needs comforting'. To be fair to her she has really struggled with her teeth and is still teething.
I know I should be grateful that she loves her dad so much and even that she has a dad in her life, but I just feel incredibly sad, unloved and left out. Irrational or selfish as that may be, that's how I feel.
DD was born prematurely at 29 wks as I had preeclampsia, so she was in special care for 2 months. I know it's mostly not my fault but I'm just starting to feel like a complete failure as a mum. I didn't carry her full term, I only managed to breastfeed for 5 months as it hurt like mad and now she doesn't want to know me. Sometimes when I smile at her she pulls a face, shakes her head and looks away. It's so hurtful and it is beginning to put a strain on our marriage.
Everyone said I would make a lovely mum, and (sorry as I don't mean to sound like I'm blowing my trumpet!) I am a kind and caring person as well as quite entertaining. Other kids always seem to love me! So why doesn't my own daughter?
Apologies for this rather lengthy and indulgent thread but I just really need to hear of experiences from other mums who have been though the same thing - and ultimately to know whether it is genuinely just a phase. Is there an age when things start to change?
Thank you xx
In my experience they go through phases. Dd has had periods of only wanting me and then for no obvious reason will swap and only dh will do. Occasionally she has had phases where only both of us together with her will make her happy, these are particularly trying. I suspect that in a while she will swap and you will be wishing she would just go to your dp without screaming for you as soon as you walk away.
Such is the irrational nature of children.
It is normal for them to go through these phases. In two years time she may be hanging off your leg screaming that she hates Daddy.
Don't take it personally, DD1 did the same at the same age.
Acknowledge her grief at seeing dad leave before trying to distract her. She may need to calm down for a few minutes/an hour before she is more receptive to your company.
After that, lots of hugs and naps together may help. I may be talking rubbish but I think she needs comforting and reassurance before she can start seeing the many good point of your company.
Take it easy (and get dad to talk to her, she is young, but they understand so much)
Poor you! Sounds a little like my little DD - she was always a Daddy's girl and would always want him if he was around. She still is, but has gone through phases along the way (sometimes she'd want me, sometimes him, sometimes her sister). I think by 3,when they can understand and communicate better it just gets easier generally - they know what they want, they can tell you what they want and you can decide how to deal with those wants. I'm sure she doesn't dislike you - by the sound of it, if you're at home more, it's probably that she feels the loss of Daddy and that's her way of expressing it to you. I've never been sure what it is - who knows - could be innate, could be something to do with genetics, could be smell, could be anything - but there is something which has meant that their is a sort of primal bond between my DH and DD2. This is now lovely for both of them, but it honestly hasn't affected my relationship with her, so I'm sure it won't for you in the long term.
My niece liked only women for ages so mum, nana, me and her other auntie. FIL used to mind her and she would sit at the door shouting for mum for ages before she settled, when we had her she wanted only me. Currently she's changed her ideas and now only wants dad, grandad and DH.
Kids are fickle. Don't blame yourself.
Thanks so much for taking the time reply guys, I really appreciate your thoughts and experiences. Sorry to hear that about your mother Tinklypoo, that's such a shame. Looking back, I was a daddy's girl too and I think my mum really rented it. I think all she'd ever wanted was a little girl to adore her...and yet I idolised my dad! I think it is partly the type of person you are and how you respond to things. Wish I could just brush it off more, my DD probably thinks I'm too clingy to her! Thank you all once again and I'd appreciate it if anyone else has any other thoughts xx
Sorry, was meant to say resented, not rented
my dads were just like this at the same age. it does pass.
We have the same problem here. My 15 mo DS has a massive preference for his dad and it does upset me. He's been like it for a long time but it is slowly getting better. My DD however was super attached to me for her first year, she had no interest in my DH, but she dropped me like a hot potato for my MIL as a one year old. That hurt!! But a few years on and me and DH are probably equal favourites, with MIL trailing behind. As others have said, it's all phases. Unless you change the way you are with them because you're upset about it. With my DS I try to make sure I do his bedtime routine every night, and try to have a bit of time just the two of us when we can. Don't withdraw from them was the advice I read, and I think that's the best advice I could give! Keep being clingy, it will change for sure - the only thing you don't know is when exactly! I feel your pain though, it's hard.
My ds did this for about 6 months at around 15 months old. I found it absolutely hideous and told myself it was because I'd had a emcs and struggled to exclusively breastfeed (even though I mix fed for 10 months!). Ds wanted to only be with my husband or my mil, although was ok if I was the only one there, and despite everyone being nice about it, I struggled with it a lot. My husband also found it quite intense as he was dealing with both our heightened emotions! At about 2, or maybe a bit after, it started to gradually change, until the exact opposite was the case and I had to do everything! To the point where there would be blue murder if daddy tried to do anything! We had to reintroduce bedtimes with dad little by little, as though he was a dreaded vegetable or something! Now ds is 5 and more even in his affections, although went batshit at the Christmas fair this year when I had to stay and dh took him home. They got lots of funny looks on the train with ds shouting "I don't want you I only want mummy, mummy loves me, I'm not going with you." Dh was mortified! They have spent a lot of time together this summer as I am pregnant and washed out, grumpy and not fun and have bonded loads. I have to tell myself not to give way to those horrible feelings when I hear them playing together without me, and ds wants to do superfun things like go to the skip with daddy rather than hang out with me. Anyway, massively long post but just to say, I totally resonate with this, and it does get better (ime). Give it time, and if poss, enjoy the peace and quiet! It's nothing you've done as a mum. None of our kids would ever speak to us again if they knew the things we got wrong when they were babies. And vice versa! Also, fwiw, I was very close to my mum when growing up and now I'm grown up I find my dad easier to spend time with so it all changes anyway.
Bags of good luck to you xxx
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences ladies. I can't think of anything worse than DD being attached to MIL, which I think is starting to happen too. I'm really not a nasty person, honest! But my MIL is quite annoying around DD and always talks over the top of me.
Anyway, I will try my hardest not to let my feelings show in front of DD and just hope things even out a bit more. The more I think about it the more it makes sense as to why my mum and dad had a troublesome marriage for many years. My mum just really seemed to hate my dad and now I think I know why! She did everything for my two brothers and I and yet my dad got all the glory. Just need to be careful I don't follow the same path she did as ended up very depressed, poor thing. She and my dad love being grandparents now though!
Thank you once again xx Wineapotomus, all the best in your pregnancy hun xx
Thank you! Scan tomorrow, fingers crossed! X
My ds wss like similar for a while. If he woke in the night he would scream and scream and scream with me till his dad came. I was totally unwanted. It made me feel rejected.
Now fast forward 10 years and they still want cuddles from me but not from dad.
Keep repeating "it's just a phase" my ds was a real daddy's boy, but for me it was a bit of a relief, because our first child had been stuck to me like glue for her first 3 years ( still is a bit and she's nearly 21!)
It's incredibly important that you acknowledge her feelings and don't let her see you're upset- it's not her fault.
Say lots of things like "oh, poor sweetie, I know you miss Daddy- so do I. Look, he'll be home when the big hand gets to the 6 (or whatever). Now, let's draw him a picture/bake him a cake/pick him some flowers for when he gets home".
This happened to me with my DS when he was around that age. I couldn't help but feel hurt, even though I tried really hard not to. Like you, I worked 3 days so was around more.
DC has almost completely stopped now, at 2.5. He shows no real preference. In fact, when he's scared at night, etc, he calls for me.
I do think that he and his dad have a lovely bond, and always have and will, but I wonder if my DH's working hours (he works 8-7, five days a week and goes out at least once or twice a week) are why my DC acted this way. (I work 10-5, three days a week, and almost never go out in the evening!) DC's time with his dad is just much more limited and much more insecure.
I was also a daddy's girl, and it drove my mum mad. Now I can understand how she felt! But I didn't love him any more than my mum, he was just more fun and my mum was more of a disciplinarian.
I hope that helps? It's probably a phase!
I can relate. Both my kids 4 and 1 prefer dad over me always. The days I am working 4 year old is so pleased to stay at home with dad. I am regularly asked to.go to work so dad can stay at home. I would say enjoy being able to sit back and let dad take over and remind yourself it is definitely a phase-I hope
Join the discussion
Please login first.